After playing second fiddle to Tata Motors for a long time, FIAT India has finally decided to break free of the shackles. They feel that they are ready to take on the Indian market alone and has decided to go on a product launch offensive in the coming years. The year 2014 will be a busy year for FIAT as it readies three very important launches for our market.
After consolidating and expanding their dealership base, Fiat is all set to unleash the following products in our market.
1. FIAT LINEA FACELIFT :
The first to reach the showrooms will be the Fiat Linea facelift, spyshots of which were busted by MotorBash here. The new Linea facelift will be pricier than the Linea Classic, and will occupy a segment that FIAT calls the “C-High”. On the other hand, the Linea Classic is already launched in the “C-Low” segment.
What it will bring to us, is the 1.6L Multijet diesel engine for the first time which is waited with bated breath. Apart from that the 2014 Linea will come with the 1.4 Litre turbocharged petrol engine from the Linea TJET. There is a very bleak possibility of Fiat launching it with the current 1.3L Multijet diesel motor as well.
FIAT’s approach to the Linea is reminiscent to that of Ford Fiesta, which saw a luxury-devoid, lower priced Ford Classic sedan and a more jazzed-up Ford Fiesta sedan.
The Linea hasn’t really been a performer in the Indian soil. Do you feel this would be a game-changing move?
2. FIAT PUNTO FACELIFT –
Around the Linea facelift launch period, Fiat has also promised the oncoming of facelifted Punto in India. However, there has been no spyshot in India confirming the development which makes us sceptical and a possible delayed launch towards the middle of the year.
However, what Fiat has confirmed are the engines Punto facelift will come equipped with. It will get the same 1.2L petrol motor along with the 1.3L Multijet diesel engine. However, we expect better performance and a more responsive car in the new form.
3. B-Segment Crossover or Punto Adventure –
FIAT had mentioned about this product when they had talked about their upcoming product plans. Initially, we thought it could be a grounds-up product or a true EcoSport rivalling one but considering the new spyshot that has surfaced (credit: quattroruote.it), it will be another crossover hatchback in the offing and not a true compact SUV.
It clearly appears that the vehicle is a taller and wider Punto running with higher ground clearance. Let us also not forget that the vehicle appears significantly beefier too. FIAT denotes this vehicle as a CUV which stands for Crossover Utility Vehicle. However, as we said, this one ends up like a crossover hatchback. Reports also suggest that it could be called the Punto Adventure, denoting its streak for outdoor love.
Fiat’s upcoming B-Segment CUV in India will be powered by the 1.4L naturally aspirated petrol engine (from existing Linea) and the 1.3L Multijet diesel engine, possibly in the 90 PS VGT tune. The close up image of the test car also makes it evident that there is no rear differential in the car, which would mean the ‘crossover’ Punto will most probably be the usual front wheel drive car. We expect this car to be showcased at the Auto Expo.
FIAT hasn’t really been a front-runner in the India arena, and we would like to see more action from them. Regarding the product line-up from them, we feel we are interested. Do you feel these products coupled with their Go-Solo strategy can help make amends for FIAT’s earlier poor show?